Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Chakra Pani Khanal has announced that the government was working to increase import tax on bananas aimed at lessening its imports from India.
He added that the rate and ratio of increasing the tax were under discussions with the Minister for Finance. The government is collecting five per cent tax for importing bananas but the banana farmers were demanding up to 30 per cent.
The farmers and entrepreneurs have claimed that they will not be able to continue banana farming if the import tax was not increased.
As per government statistics, banana farming is carried out across 18,000 hectares of land in the country and more than 50,000 farmers are involved in it. Nepal produces around 700,000 tonnes of bananas every year while the country’s annual demand stands at around 1.5 million tonnes.